Here are my top six unaccompanied solos for this period of self-isolation. I'm revisiting a few old favorites and taking on some new challenges!
Lilly Haley, D.M.
Dancing Solo - Libby Larsen
I've spent a lot of time with this one in the past, but it's so rewarding to listen back to my masterclass recordings with Larsen and keep trying to pull out new characters and contrasts, toying with the concept of dancing alone. Watch the masterclass performance below to gain an insight into the composer's intentions.
Gryphon - Theresa Martin
I was recently introduced to this composer's music, and I'm hooked! This piece is so dynamic, exciting to listen to, and provides some much needed exercise in extended techniques.
The Moon in My Window - Eric Mandat
It is always a pleasure to talk with Dr. Mandat both personally and musically. I was completely enchanted by this piece when I heard him perform it live, and had to add it to my library. Striving to inhabit the imagination of a child during this time is a perfect isolation exercise!
Three Studies in Flight - Russell Riepe
This is close to the top of my list of favorite pieces to play. It highlights the incredible versatility of the clarinet, and never fails to bring me joy.
A Tune from Childhood - Bright Sheng
Adapted by the composer from "Concertino for Clarinet and String Quartet," this short solo is a musical gold mine. With a calm, Stravinsky-esque introduction transitioning into a fiery middle section and back in just a few minutes, this piece captures so many of the clarinet's best qualities.
Gra - Elliott Carter
A fantastic exercise in rhythmic precision, it is just plain fun to play. The title means "game" in Polish, a concept evident in the dynamic and register acrobatics that permeate the piece.
Performance at Florida State University College of Music, International Women's Day 2018